More and more, parents are looking to independent schools for more choice — and say — in how their children are educated. They might be looking for a school with a distinct educational philosophy. They might live in a town with overcrowded public schools or one that has a good reputation but is not a good fit for their child. Here are five benefits of private schools:
1. Small class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratio
Private schools vary greatly in size, but almost all focus on the importance of small class sizes and a low student-to-teacher ratio. This allows teachers to really get to know each student, to perform more thorough and holistic assessments, and to help develop students’ weak areas and advance their talents and strengths. Students are less likely to “get lost,” fall behind or feel unimportant.
2. Individual attention and personalized learning
No two children learn the same way. Personalized learning, which is tailored to the student’s interests, skills and learning preferences, has been shown to increase student engagement, motivation and achievement. Smaller classes are less “one size fits all” by design, allowing the teacher to tailor lessons to different individual students and to more easily manage personalized learning.
3. Parent and family involvement
While parent involvement is common in both public and private schools during the early years, it often tapers off in the early elementary years. Most private schools promote open communication between parents and the administration, and they make it a priority to involve parents in the school community. From frequent parent-teacher meetings, family/school social events, and participation in parent committees, families become an integral part of the school community and their child’s education.
4. School culture and community
Lower staff-to-student ratios allow for more effective observation during class, recess and transition times. Teachers overhear conversations and can help teach children how to resolve conflicts and navigate different social situations. The strong sense of community found in private schools also discourages dangerous or anti-social behavior like bullying. (In a small school, it’s hard to get away with anything!)
5. Campus facilities and extras
Good private schools have classroom environments and facilities that inspire learning and discovery. Look for schools that offer programs and facilities to match your child’s interests — and that allow all to dabble in different areas to experiment, stretch themselves, get outdoors, and try new things just for fun.
These are just some of the reasons parents choose private schools. When it comes to choosing the school itself, the choices become more personal. For many parents, it’s a “gut feeling” they experience when visiting a campus or school event. So, in addition to doing your research, be sure to visit a school early in the decision-making process to see what it’s like for yourself.
Inly School in Scituate offers a student-centered approach that focuses on how students learn, not just what they learn. Discover why Inly was voted Best Private Elementary School by the readers of South Shore Home Life and Style two years in a row at an Open House on Tuesday, January 9 at 9:00 AM.